A Letter to Santa
Eight wishes for B-to-B marketers this holiday season
By Russell Kern
I'm leaving a wish list next to the cookies and milk. It's from myself and the dozens of B-to-B marketers I've worked with over the last 20 years. I know it's a lot to ask, but your distribution methods from the North Pole are so perfect!
Wish #1: A clearer direction and understanding of the mission of direct marketing.
Santa, all too often, we get vague direction from B-to-B marketers. They hand the direct marketing team a copy of the advertising or general campaign objectives, which are too broad and frequently irrelevant to the direct marketing goals. Can you help B-to-B marketers understand the vital questions that need to be answered before a campaign is started? These questions include:
- What are the specific goals and objectives for this program?
- What specific work is this program supposed to accomplish?
- How many inquiries, qualified leads and sales do you expect?
- How do you want to capture leads and inquiries?
- What is the proper way to transmit the inquiries and leads into the selling system to optimize sales performance?
Wish #2: Campaign targets based on reality.
Santa, can you help me show B-to-B marketers that the perceptions of their sales force regarding their audience often are quite different from the reality of the people to whom they sell?
Here's one scenario: A client wanted to do an acquisition campaign targeting companies with revenues in excess of $250 million, based on sales force input. When the customer base was analyzed, 85 percent of the customers had revenue between $50 and $100 million. Very few customers actually were in excess of $250 million in revenue, and the average sale did not vary by company revenue size. The reason for the confusion was simple: Sales people wanted to target high because they believed the sale would be larger and therefore, their commissions greater. The reality, however, was that if they did not target lower revenue companies, the marketing universe would be greatly reduced and the chances of the campaign being successful were low at best.